I am a PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin Madison in the Department of Bacteriology and the Laboratory of Genetics. Before joining the Genetics Training Program at the UW-Madison, I served as a bioinformaticist in the Sánchez lab at The Stowers Institute for Medical Research. During this time, I bioinformatically assisted researchers with their interrogations of development and regeneration in planarians, killifish, ctenophores, and apple snails. The broad similarities in development and regeneration across different taxa captivated me and instilled in me a fascination for evolutionary biology. This drove me to pursue a graduate education in evolutionary biology and join Cameron Currie’s team to study host-parasite interactions and evolution. My research leverages the fungus-growing ant-microbe model symbiosis to study long-term co-evolution between the parasitic symbiont Escovopsis and the defensive adaptations developed by fungus-growing ant hosts to protect their fungus garden from this parasite.
- Sequenced, assembled and annotated 18 genomes of Escovopsis for comparative genomics.
- Performed field work to obtain increased sampling of Escovopsis
- Collaborated with scientists to analyze and interpret next generation sequencing data.
- Worked to maintain and propagate zebrafish lines for shipping to research labs.